Events and Travel Galore
We’re right in the heart of the Fall conference season. Check out AvidThink Events and let us know if you’re at one of the upcoming events.
We’ve been to WasmCon in Bellevue (Seattle), TMForum DTW (Copenhagen), and TMT M&A Forum (New York). Next up are TIP Fyuz (Oct 9-11, Madrid), OCP Global (Oct 17-19, San Jose), Connected Enterprise (Nov 7, Chicago), KubeCon (Nov 7-9, Chicago), Edge Computing World (Nov 14-15, Mountain View), AWS re:Invent (Nov 27-30, Las Vegas), and to wrap up the year, Upperside’s SD-WAN/SASE (Dec 12-13, Paris).
Drive By Observations
Key takeaways from past weeks on the road:
- Every other sentence from a telco or cloud exec or vendor involved GenAI. This was the case at every conference we attended —WasmCon, DTW, TMT M&A, and our partner, Jim Carroll, reported the same from MWC Americas in Vegas. It’s clear GenAI is here to stay based on whisperings from the TMT M&A Forum on data center demand and attempts by hyperscalers to lock up supply and build AI-centric data centers (we’d share more about whom, but…Chatham House Rule). We’ve encountered lots of misinformation and fluff but also compelling approaches to telco GenAI. We wrote an article on Netcracker’s approach to GenAI — give it a read.
- Network-as-a-Service or NaaS is the other oft-spouted term, but it means so many different things you must dig into the details to understand what the execs are discussing. Check out our article on the many faces of NaaS.
- 5G Monetization continues to be a mantra for vendors and GSIs touting their ideas for helping telcos monetize their 5G network investments. We were remarking to telecom and vendor execs on the strangeness of our telco market. Many telcos knew from early surveys that consumers wouldn’t pay more for 5G wireless service due to a lack of compelling services. Yet, telcos went ahead and bid billions of dollars to win spectrum, spent more billions on 5G network build-out, rushing to outdo each other, and hoped that they could figure out how to monetize their networks on the backs of nebulous enterprise offerings. Then, telcos turned to their suppliers and SIs and asked for help in monetizing the networks they had built. To be fair, this isn’t true of all telcos — there are innovative ones that are transforming and who could eventually emerge victorious. Nevertheless, we know of no other industry that exhibits this behavior. Even other regulated industries with high fixed costs that demand significant upfront infrastructure investments — like airlines, utilities, or oil and gas — don’t behave this way. We realize running a telco isn’t easy, especially in regions with heavy government regulation and intervention. But we’ve collectively created a marketplace (in many global regions) with unnatural dynamics.
And don’t get us started on APIs (plenty to say, but not today). We’re confident we’ll encounter more of these in the conferences ahead, plus with TIP Fyuz and OCP Global Summit upcoming, we’ll get an earful of disaggregation and open RAN (especially now that Ericsson’s thrown its lot in, too).
Most Recent Resource Site: SASE/SD-WAN/MCN/ZTNA – Alphabet Soup
In the meantime, don’t forget to check out our latest report and videos on our SASE, SD-WAN, Enterprise Edge, and Cloud Networking Resource Site.
NextGenInfra Sites and Reports
While we were hanging out in NYC, our media partner, Jim Carroll, was hard at work capturing executive insights at MWC Americas 2023 in Las Vegas. Watch our site closely for a bumper crop of hot takes from the show floor in Las Vegas. In the meantime, other NextGenInfra.io sites:
- Fiber Connect 2023 — Explore video showcases featuring companies like APB, Brightspeed, Clearfield, Corning, DCBlox, Dell’Oro, DZS, Nokia, ipInfusion, Infinera, STL, and more.
- New Middle Mile Report — Exploring the critical evolution of the complex yet vital middle section between networking’s last mile and first mile.
Miss recent events AvidThink was on? Here’s a selection of our recent events with links to recordings:
- Rakuten Optimism 2023 Edge Cloud Innovation — Fireside chat with Vijay Tewari of Google Cloud and Partha Seetala of Rakuten Symphony.
- MEF Podcast — The Shift to NaaS: Where Connectivity and Security Converge — Our chat with MEF CTO, Pascal Menezes, on the convergence of security and networking under the Network-as-a-Service umbrella.
- And our recent participation on panels covering 5G telco core and open RAN: Telco Core Strategies Summit 2023 (Silverlinings), Open RAN Summit: Open RAN in 2023 – is the momentum still there? (Fierce Wireless)
On to September’s news summary!
NGMN says 6G will not trigger a hardware refresh
The Next-generation Mobile Networks Alliance (NGMN), made up primarily of global telecom operators, released a position statement on 6G, saying it will not require a hardware refresh of 5G radio access network (RAN) infrastructure. Instead, NGMN said operators should introduce 6G through software upgrades when possible. Operators are concerned about 6G as 5G has yet to spur significant sales or revenue-generating services as promised.
Nokia touts Dish as first user of new API platform
Nokia said Dish Network is the first operator to use its Network as Code platform, with five others planning to use it. The platform currently supports quality of service, network slicing, location, and device insights APIs. Nokia plans to add more and supports GSMA’s Open Gateway project for opening operator networks to developers.
GSMA says open APIs key to monetizing 5G
The GSMA’s Open Gateway initiative to create universal APIs now has support from 35 operators, representing 60% of subscribers. APIs allow third-party 5G applications. However, operators must expose network APIs for easy developer access. GSMA aims to simplify building apps across multiple networks.
Samsung, KDDI form 5G network slicing alliance
Samsung and KDDI signed a deal to launch 5G dynamic network slicing services globally. Samsung is also working with AMD to validate processors with Samsung vRAN software.
Boston station lights up 5G broadcast field trial
Boston’s WWOO-TV became the first U.S. station to test live 5G broadcasts, focused on HD TV and first responder smartphone apps. WWOO-TV has an experimental license for the proof-of-concept trial, part of a more extensive effort for a national 5G broadcast system using low-power UHF frequencies for downstream traffic.
AT&T makes progress with standalone 5G network
AT&T is migrating thousands of customers daily to its 5G standalone core, launched in late 2022. Its Internet Air fixed wireless access service rides the SA network. More services like connected cars will also use the SA network. AT&T is testing network slicing with various industries that need critical network access.
Verizon prioritizes control with 5G core, avoids public clouds
Verizon wants to control its 5G core rather than shift to a public cloud like AT&T. Verizon is testing open RAN but hasn’t deployed it yet. Although moving customers to 5G standalone, Verizon isn’t rushing a nationwide rollout given the need for more compatible devices.
T-Mobile opens 5G network slicing beta nationwide
T-Mobile’s 5G standalone network enabled the opening of its network-slicing capabilities to developers nationwide. This follows a slicing beta for video calling apps. Any video-calling developer can join the beta via T-Mobile’s DevEdge program. The company plans to expand slicing to more use cases.
Verizon wheels a data center to the network edge
Verizon added a Mobile Onsite Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) unit serving as a data center on wheels, providing 5G, edge computing, security, and connectivity where needed. The first deployment is at Lockheed Martin in Waterton, Colorado, using the unit to test enterprise apps and devices on Verizon’s 5G standalone network.
CEO Paul Jacobs kicks off Globalstar’s private wireless roadshow
Globalstar’s new CEO, Paul Jacobs, said the company sees strong potential in private wireless networking leveraging its Band 53 spectrum available in 11 countries. Jacobs said Globalstar’s satellite service allows enterprise deployment similar to Wi-Fi versus complex cellular.
AT&T sees private wireless replacing DAS
An AT&T executive said private wireless may be better than distributed antenna systems (DAS) for in-building coverage at some venues. AT&T is working with private wireless developer InfiniG on CBRS networks. It also works closely with JMA Wireless, which provides DAS and private networking. Many companies can now deploy CBRS-based private networks, given device support.
Ericsson to launch Open RAN products in 2024
Ericsson plans to introduce open RAN products in 2024, starting with open fronthaul between radios and basebands next year. Some existing radios can be upgraded to support open fronthaul for use with other vendors’ equipment. This could negatively impact smaller open RAN vendors like Mavenir that operators view as higher risk.
NTT Docomo offers open RAN product set
Japan’s NTT Docomo is offering an open RAN product called OREX (Open RAN Ecosystem Experience) that works with multi-vendor gear. Docomo acts as an integrator, working with 13 OREX and 7 RU partners, including Red Hat, Qualcomm, and VMware.
Feds host RIC forum in 2024 to grow ecosystem
The U.S. government will host a March 2024 event in Dallas, TX, on open RAN’s RAN Intelligent Controllers (RICs) to help grow the RIC ecosystem. At a recent CableLabs event in Louisville, CO, a US Department of Defense representative shared that the government views the RIC ecosystem as “under-formed.”
UK funds 19 open RAN 5G projects
The UK government allocated $109 million to fund 19 open RAN trials on live 5G networks in major cities (including Glasgow, Cambridge, Liverpool, Bath, and London) until March 2025. It’s part of the Open Networks R&D Fund to build secure, resilient infrastructure.
[Cisco drops $28B on cybersecurity firm Splunk](https://www.
Cisco acquired data analytics provider Splunk for $28 billion, its largest deal yet. Splunk monitors and analyzes customer data to prevent breaches and has more than 15,000 customers, including Coca-Cola, Intel, and Porsche. With this deal, Cisco gains further security firepower amidst competition from HP, IBM, and pure-play security firms.
[Cisco bolsters SD-WAN security](https://www.
Cisco integrated its SD-WAN with Microsoft’s Sentinel security platform to provide another security option for customers. It also enables integrating Cisco Catalyst SD-WAN with third-party security service edge provider Skyhigh Security.
T-Mobile rolls out SIM-based SASE offering
T-Mobile launched a SIM-based secure access service edge (SASE) solution called T-Mobile SASE, using Versa Networks’ technology. It lets customers securely connect employees and systems to remote networks and apps. T-Mobile says it’s the first SIM-based SASE that connects to its network via the SIM. The offering also includes a dedicated network slice for SASE traffic on their 5G network.
IDC: SD-WAN gets a boost from SASE, cloud needs
IDC says the SD-WAN infrastructure market grew 25% in 2022 on factors like cloud connectivity and SASE appeal. IDC forecasts 10% annual SD-WAN growth, reaching $7.5 billion by 2027. Migration from MPLS, optimized WAN performance, and cost savings continue to drive adoption.
CSP spending on generative AI could grow 6x
A survey of 102 senior service execs by AWS found that 48% of CSPs plan to adopt generative AI in two years, with spending up to 6x current levels. The report estimated that 45% of CSPs expect their generative AI spending to be 2% to 6% of their total technology spending in two years, an increase from less than 1% today.
SK Telecom will triple its AI investments over the next five years
With AI revenues of $18.5 billion targeted by 2028, SK Telecom plans to triple its AI investment to 33% over five years. The company plans to almost double its data center capacity by 2030 to host AI-based services and workloads that generate higher margins. In addition, SKT’s AI semiconductor division plans to launch a next-gen inference AI chip, X330, by the end of the year.
Microsoft Azure attracts more big enterprise spenders than its competition
Of the big three U.S. cloud providers, Microsoft Azure leads large enterprise customers spending $100,000+ per month, per data from HGInsights. However, smaller spenders dominate overall. 86.3% of GCP customers fit in the $1,000 per month or less spending category. Likewise, 76.5% of AWS customers are in the $1,000 per month or less spending category. Meanwhile, just 49% of Azure customers are in the $1,000 per month or less spending category.
Oracle expands multi-cloud support
Oracle is growing its multi-cloud portfolio by bringing MySQL Heatwave to AWS and adding Red Hat OpenShift support on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). The company aims to make it easier for customers to run OCI in different locations and operating models.
Retailer Wayfair shifted 6,000 apps to cloud, but would do differently next time
Online retailer Wayfair moved all 6,000 of its apps to Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure, starting with back-office apps in 2019. It wanted engineers focused on customers, not servers. But its cloud chief says it should have shifted certain apps later, after refactoring for cloud-native. About 95% of its apps are in Google Cloud, though a small portion are in Microsoft Azure.
Demand for databases, data centers, AI drives Oracle’s cloud growth
Oracle’s cloud revenue jumped 30% to $4.6 billion last quarter (fiscal Q1 2024, which ended Aug 31), fueled by databases, data centers, and AI. Oracle says $4 billion in AI training capacity has been purchased for its second-gen cloud. Strong data center availability demand was also cited.
Google Cloud’s new telco chief targets operators’ AI, monetization, modernization
Google Cloud is focused on three telecom areas: AI transformation, monetization, and network modernization, says new telecom chief Ankur Jain. Google Cloud assists operators with workforce productivity, customer care via AI, and moving network workloads to the cloud.
And it’s a wrap! See you back here in early November with October’s updates.
The AvidThink team